Fashion Perspective: Style Eccentrics

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by Alexa Carlson, Lifestyle Writer

Alexander McQueen, Fall 2012
Alexander McQueen, Fall 2012

“I think what I often see is that people are frightened about fashion; because it scares them or makes them feel insecure they just put it down. People may say…mean things about our world, [but] I think that’s usually because they feel, in some ways, excluded, so as a result they just mock it”

Anna Wintour, The September Issue

I can still remember the first issue that I bought of Vogue. I was mesmerized by the glossy pages full of beautiful colors, but I found myself rather confused by some of the eccentric and unrealistic ensembles. I wondered, “Did people honestly wear this stuff out in public?”

It took a little while for me to become accustomed to Alexander McQueen’s intricate, dark style, Comme de Garcons innovative yet sometimes puzzling silhouettes, and of course Betsey Johnson’s explosions of neon, lace and tutus. Nevertheless I realize that those who are uninterested in fashion can easily criticize it as ridiculous, impractical or even pointless.

However, the runway is not the only place where perplexities and oddities in style occur. In the fashion world, there are those few individuals who show up time and time again in street style reports. These individuals possess genuinely eccentric style; they are the ones who do not just merely don crazy outfits on occasion, they wear them whenever they please. Their style is their identity – they are the true expressionists of the fashion world. Below are some of the most widely-recognized eccentric fashionistas and fashionistos in the industry. People simply swoon for their “crazy” style and, naturally, we do as well.

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Iris Apfel

Quite possibly one of the oldest living fashionistas, Apfel, at age 90, resumes her influential role in the fashion world. Iris is known for her iconic (and sizable) round tortoise shell glasses, stacks of bangles and various patterned shawls and jackets. Apfel has always been interested in style and art – she even studied art right here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison!

Patrick McDonald

“The Dandy of New York,” has made his distinct stamp on the fashion world with his trademark eyebrows, beauty mark, statement hats and matching suits. McDonald has created such a specific personal style that he claims to never even think about leaving his house without his hat and proper makeup. He first came into the fashion scene in the 80’s at the iconic Studio 54. In an interview on Patrick claimed, “I feel like New York has been scrubbed clean of the creativity.”

Anna Dello Russo

To 51-year-old Italian Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Japan, there is no such thing as “dressing your age.” Dello Russo rocks some of the tiniest frocks, craziest patterns and most unconventional accessories with just about as much spunk and panache as Cara Delevingne would. Anna shows up in street style blogs time and time again dressed in her endless wardrobe of color, embellishments and not to mention her 4,000 pairs of shoes.


As Bill Cunningham once said, “Fashion is the armor to survive everyday life.” Sure, some of these style-eccentrics may wear things many of us would never dream of even buying, but without their creativity the fashion world would become a very dull place; a place in which it would be impossible for originality to thrive.

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